Personal Development at DEMA

Headquarters training staff will be running instructor programs on Tuesday, October 21 at Circus Circus.

These programs include a Technical Diving International Nitrox Instructor program starting at 11:00am and a CPROX1st AED Administrator Instructor Program scheduled to begin at 3:00pm.

Space is limited and preregistration is required.

To reserve your spot, call Cris Merz at 1.888.778.9073 or email him today.

1… July Associate Newsletter


Diving North America’s inland seas…

It’s pretty much accepted that when anyone thinks about taking a North American diving vacation, their thoughts turn to spots in the south. And although we too appreciate the appeal of the warmer waters of Florida and the wildlife of Southern California, we’d like to suggest pointing your car north and heading to the huge inland fresh water seas called the Great Lakes.


Extra! Extra! Read all about it…     

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Sign-up for DiverNewsWire today by clicking logo…

Diver Tips… eat right to dive right

Surface Interval Snacks… fuel up your body for that second… and third dive… by eating the right foods. Some advice from a dietitian on how to make your active day on the water, tasty and more fun.

READ MORE>>>           

A Window to the Abyss!

A wreck dive to 780 feet is outside the norm for most divers, but Diving Adventure Magazine senior editor, Bret Gilliam, has been there, done that and has the pictures to prove it.

Read the full article originally published in Diving Adventure Magazine issue four earlier this year.

Bret’s article, is typical of the quality and content you’ll find in all the articles in Diving Adventure Magazine, which is now published four times a year.

Reading Diving Adventure Magazine is the next best thing to actually diving, so you may want to consider what you are missing by not subscribing!

Read article as a pdf (large file)…

Subscribe to DAMagazine here… 


Why I like to dive with a dual-gas PDC

Thinking of taking a TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures course and wondering whether the investment in a dual or multi-gas computer is worth it? Our vice–president of training, has a few words to say on the subject that make a good case in favor of dual-gas computers…


Did You Know… help with your dive planing

Wondering what size waves to expect on your next dive trip… well a quick check of the NOAA weather buoys is the accepted way to check, but did you know about the new service available via mobile phone?


Join TDI for Florida Wreckfest in August!        

An adventure-packed weekend diving wrecks in the Florida Keys, sound like fun? Well come and join TDI instructors and Instructor-Trainers on this special trip in early August






Why Me?

You have been selected to receive this electronic newsletter because you have recently graduated from a Scuba Diving International or Technical Diving International diver training program or have expressed an interest in scuba diving at one of the many consumer adventure sport shows we attend every year.

We hope you enjoy reading it. Please click the unsubscribe button to stop delivery of future issues. On the other hand, if you have friends who you think would enjoy receiving this monthly publication, forward this message to them and tell them to hit the subscribe button. Your next issue will be delivered to you automatically.

This communication is copyright 2008. It is produced by International Training, the parent organization of our sport diver training agency: Scuba Diving International™ (SDI); the largest technical training agency in the world, Technical Diving International™ (TDI); and Emergency Rescue Diving International™ (ERDI) which offers the same high standard of diver education as our other organizations but to the public safety diving community.





Diver Clicks

Here’s what holds the interest of 20,000 divers…

Take a look at the response/ click through rate of divers “just like your customers” from stories in our Monthly Dive Log

You can use this information to help you decide what courses and other dive-related activities to promote in your store to help you earn greater profits for you and your facility!

After each distribution of The Dive Log, The official Associate Member Newsletter we compile the results and report and share them with you. They say that knowledge is POWER so more power to you! Need help bridging how to make this information pay off for you but not quite sure how? Contact us we can help, reach out for your Regional Manager or drop us a line at

 (Total number of responses to August 1st edition of Dive Log were up more than 15 percent on previous mailings)

















DOWNLOAD STORY FROM Diving Adventure Magazine












Figures reflect percentage of total “hits” for specific web pages on our site


Here is your SDI, TDI and ERDI schedule of events for DEMA 2008

Seminars presented on behalf of Scuba Diving International™ Technical Diving International™ and Emergency Response Diving International™

Sign up now! CPROX1st AED Administrator and Nitrox Instructor programs will be conducted on Tuesday, October 21 at CircusCircus.

Also, the following seminars will be presented at DEMA in Las Vegas from Wednesday, October 22 through Saturday October 25. A full listing with times is available online in the REGISTRATION FORM…SIGNUP ONLINE NOW.

Please note that shortened versions of some seminars will  be presented at the SDI/TDI/ERDI booth during the show.

e-Learning – How to… Your Store Brand & More

e-Learning has changed the way we market and deliver diver training. It captures customers from a broader audience and adds value to their learning experience… but is your dive store making the most of the technology to cultivate brand awareness and customer loyalty? This seminar will show you how.

A Daily Group Discussion on this topic will take place at our booth at 10AM and 3PM

Defensive Teaching for Dive Pro’s # 1

Whether you are new to the dive industry or a seasoned pro, this informative seminar delivered by respected legal expert, Rick Lesser, will outline the procedures and techniques that should form the foundation of your personal and asset protection planning.

Opportunity in an Evolving Market

Huge changes our home economy in the past 12 months might be seen as a threat to continued profitability and success, but this panel discussion will take the viewpoint that the current market is ripe with opportunities. Panel members include Ed Christini, Brian Carney.

A Daily Group Discussion on this topic will take place at our booth at 1PM

e-Learning – The Importance of “Blended Teaching” to Your Bottom Line

Blended opens up your training center to a broad customer base 24 hours a day seven days a week and is the fastest-growing trend in diver training. This seminar will discuss how to organize your marketing and staff to take full benefit of the opportunities blending teaching offers you.

Risk Management for Dive Stores, Instructor and Charter Operators

Professional liability insurance is the last line of defense for you and your business. Understanding how to best manage the risk involved in the diving business is the first. Follow insurance expert Peter Meyer through the step-by-step process of risk identification, isolation and management. It could be the best investment you make at the show.

Launch Diving International Travel Network an unequaled member benefit

The launch of the Diving International Travel Network™ is important news for members of the SDI/TDI world-wide network of facilities and instructors as it opens up a one-stop travel desk though which to book individual and group diver travel. Drop by and check out how you can profit from offering this brand-new service to your customers.

A Daily Group Discussion on this topic will take place at our booth at 11AM and 5PM

Growing Your Business Through Public Safety Training –

Have you considered the value to your business of teaching Public Safety Diving as part of your scuba training curriculum?  Branching out into this area of diver training through Emergency Response Diving International™ has many direct benefits through increased PSD teams grants from municipal and federal governments, but also indirect benefits as your operation becomes recognized in your community as the diving authority to whom local law enforcement and rescue personnel turn.

Scuba Diving International™ Technical Diving International™ Leadership Cross-Over

Known for its innovative diver-education programs and modern approach to program delivery, Scuba Diving International™ and Technical Diving International™ offer a fresh and exciting alternative for dive leaders already teaching for competitive sport and or technical agencies. Attend this three-hour workshop and offer your customers more choice. Price includes materials.

You may also contact to register.

Dive the Channel Islands and get certified to teach our new specialties:

The Production Course and The Underwater Video Course!

Instructor Trainer Annie Crawley,, has chartered the Vision from Truth Aquatics for two unbelievable itineraries that will take you scuba diving in one of the top ten destinations of the world, The Channel Islands off the coast of California.  You can choose from two trips:  

Southern Channel Islands September 2-6, 2008 departing at 9:00pm from Sea Landing, 300 W. Cabrillo Blvd. Santa Barbara, CA

Northern Channel Islands       September 7-10, 2008 departing at 4:00 am on the 7th 

You can do both trips together too, combine them for 8 full days of diving!  The Southern Channel Island itinerary takes you diving San Clemente, Catalina and Santa Barbara Islands.  You will see giant kelp forests, black sea bass, sea lion rookeries plus so much more.  On the Northern Island itinerary, you will experience the Fiji of California as the color will astound you on the pinnacles!  

These special charters are limited to 25 divers plus a couple of special guests who will have gear demos from Sea & Sea, Gates, Light and Motion, Bonica for underwater imaging including photography, video and editing seminars daily.  The Vision is the largest in the Truth Aquatics fleet and they allow solo diving, CCR rebreathers (if you want to bring oxygen) and you will have an opportunity to take both The Production Course and The Underwater Video Specialty Course included in the price of the trip.  If you are an instructor, you will be taught how to teach.  If you are a student, you have the opportunity to get certified, all included in the price of the charter.

The Southern Island itinerary is $875 and the Northern Islands Itinerary is $825.  If you book the two together it will be $1650 for the two.  The course fees special for members of SDI/TDI are included in the price of the charter to encourage more divers to learn Production and Underwater Video.  The certification card processing fee will be extra.  Act fast as these trips are selling out!  You can find out more information and see video from last year’s trip under the travel section of


Contact Annie directly to find out more!

m 805-453-1947

200 W. Mason St. #19

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Marketing Your Advanced Adventure Programs for maximum effect


Continuing Ed is just Customer Loyalty in another guise

We don’t need an MBA to understand that customer retention goes a long way to making any business a successful business, and this is especially true in the retail dive business.

The stats for the whole retail sector of our economy back this up. According to figures published by a leading business consultancy, acquiring new customers can take from five to eight times more money and effort than retaining current customers. A two percent increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by 10 percent. Loyal customers are 15 times more likely to spend money in a store they have shopped in before rather than a new one. In the direct retail business, loyal customers spend an average of three times more, and sometimes 10 to 20 times more, than a customer who’s not a regular.

As if this wasn’t troubling enough, the recognized challenge for retailers is tracking repeat customers in order to gauge how well retention strategies are working.

In dive retailing (specifically in selling diver education) we have a prime indicator telling us how well we are doing retaining our latest crop of new customers: Newly Minted Open Water Divers. And this is a simple breakdown of the percentage who return to take their next course with us.

Typically, these courses include specialties like Nitrox and Deep, Wreck or Night. And a major task for the dive store is making the course appealing to new divers. We thought we’d help our members this month in two ways. Here are some tips on making SDI’s Advanced Adventure a stronger seller in your market.

Last month, Scuba Diving International launched its newly written, full-color Advanced Adventure Student Manual, and that in itself will help to sell course. The manual has great pick-up-ability and is written in a simple straightforward way that makes reading the material enjoyable for students. In a couple of weeks, SDI will start a direct to diver campaign to push this new manual and the course associated with it and you should prepare to take advantage of this promotion. Order your SDI Advanced Adventure Student Kits now!

Advanced Adventure, of course, is the perfect next step for a new diver. The course involves five dives, minimal classroom work and can be easily completed in a weekend.

Advanced Adventure graduates must do one deep dive and one navigation dive. These core specialties must be covered but the three remaining introductory dives are what can make the specialty a winner for your shop.

These three dives are drawn from a menu of SDI specialties. The new student manual has chapters on the two core programs (deep and navigation) and nine others including: Advanced Buoyancy, Boat Diving, Computer Diving, Drift Diving, Dry Suit Diving, Marine Ecosystem Awareness, Night Diving, Underwater Photography, Shore and Beach Diving, and Wreck Diving. Using these as the basis for putting together a unique course you can offer something perfectly suited to highlight the strengths of your teaching staff and the diving available in your area.

For example, combine wreck, drift and boat for a wreck diver package. Photography, marine ecosystem awareness and night, makes an awesome underwater imaging deal. Dry suit, drift with boat could be a terrific river diver combo.

Use your imagination to mold an Advanced Adventure program to suit your local conditions and diving opportunities, and you will have built a specialty package unique to your operation and imminently salable to your open water graduates.

There are really no huge secrets to customer retention. Listen to your customer’s needs. Innovate and be creative in how you offer your services and products. Satisfy them with superior value. Stay connected with them after each sale.

You can meet all four of these guidelines with a simple plan to follow-up graduation from their SDI Open Water Diver program with an invitation to continue their diving education with an Advanced Adventure course…

Throw away the chips and cheese dip…

Eating healthy for better performance

“Divers, just like anyone else enjoying sport events or outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking or climbing, need to be careful about eating the right foods,” explains Bev Leslie-Suddaby. Bev is a registered dietician who, when not managing food and nutrition services for several hospitals, is an avid runner and kayaker.

She explains that to get the most out of their bodies, divers need to fuel up on snacks that carry a long-term release of energy rather than the quick rush that junk snacks like candy bars and chips and dips deliver.

“Everyone’s heard the mantra,” she quips. “We should eat a balanced diet with full grains, fruits and veggies, protein – meat and meat alternatives like beans and lentils – diary, including soy milk, and the right kind of fats, which of course means unsaturated fats from lean meats, fish and vegetable oils.”

A good policy before diving – or any outdoor sports activity – is to “travel” on a light stomach. Be careful not the dive on a full stomach but also not to begin a dive feeling hungry, Bev cautions. “A simple guideline to follow is to leave at least three to four hours between a full meals and your activity. A smaller meal is OK two to three hours before and snacks one to two hours before is usually good.” But she points out, times and what constitutes a full meal or a light snack will vary somewhat from person to person.

“There are examples in the literature defining what constitutes each type of meal, but once again it depends so much on the individual’s tolerance and habits. People can come up with their own working guideline, the key is don’t start diving feeling bloated or full, and don’t jump into the water thinking how hungry you feel.”

Another key message for divers is to plan pre-dive meals and snacks by staying with well-known and well-tolerated food choices. “Everyone responds a little differently to various foods and it would be a mistake to try something exotic and brand new just before a dive. Eating something unfamiliar because you’ve read someplace that it works for someone else could unset you and your dive plans!”

Long dives and days with multiple dives do require some thought with regards nutrition. Don’t leave home for a day of diving with no plan, no food and a view to grab a bag of corn ships in a variety store on route. “That is NOT the path to a successful day of diving,” Bev hints.

“A diver should be cautious to snack lightly after every dive, especially ones that net him or her more than forty minutes in the water. Dives longer than an hour, really do require some topping up of resources otherwise there could be serious issues with regard ability to work and concentrate.”

So what snacks are the best? The good old standby and something Bev admits she enjoys when on the water is a wholegrain bagel with crunchy peanut butter. Other good and tasty treats include fruit yogurt, pita bread and humus, tuna salad (be careful to keep in a chilled cooler!) and fresh fruit. Fruit smoothies made with soy beverages and a sprinkle of nuts and wheat germ make a great between dive snack, Bev says.

“Home-made are best but, many of the store-bought smoothie products are great too, but be watchful of the quantities of added sugar and sweeteners.” Too much sugar, Bev warns, can result in a very edgy and very tired diver an hour or so after eating.

She also advices a good sandwich at midday. “Don’t scrimp on the serving either,” she says. Diving burns off a lot of calories, and divers get hungry. “Whole grain breads or buns with lean meats, such as boned, skinned chicken breast, livened up with sprouts and greens are among the best and simplest thing to prepare the morning of or even the night before going diving,” she says. “If you like spicy, use mustard or horseradish instead of margarine and if you do add cheese, keep it low fat.”

As a consultant dietician on several technical dive expeditions, Bev is also familiar with the special needs of divers doing multiple dives in a day. “Hydration is key and of course the best solution for that is to get your body well watered several days before you start diving. Then on dive day, the guideline I’d suggest to divers is to drink about one litre (a quart) of clear water for every hour spent in the water.”

What does she think of sports drinks? “In moderation, great for refreshing the taste buds immediately post dive,” she says.

Sports drinks do contain sugars and electrolytes which can be necessary if suiting up for the dive and sun and heat during the surface interval results in sweating. But most important she explains, to replace liquids and give the body some help to stay hydrated.

“Dehydration affects performance and concentration in all athletes and divers are no exception. Muscle cramps are often triggered by dehydration, but of course divers need to be cautious on this front because of the links between decompression sickness and lack of suitable fluids.”

As for coffee and tea… well, Bev has read the literature and says that there are studies now that seem to contradict some of the old adages about coffee being a bad thing. “I’m not saying coffee or tea replaces good clean water, but the rule should be that if you start your day with a couple of cups of coffee, don’t change that habit.” She smiles. “I need a little caffeine in the morning before my run and I certainly know many divers who love coffee and are going to drink it anyway!” Moderation is the key and don’t substitute it for water she concludes.


Dual-Gas Dive Computers

Affordable insurance for deco diving

The way it looks to me, recent advances in the design and function of the Personal Dive Computer (PDC) have made several positive changes to the way both sport and technical divers plan and conduct their dives. Scuba Diving International™ divers from their open water training on up are required to wear a PDC to track their nitrogen loading, and this common-sense approach to sport diving seems to have pushed manufacturers, at least in part, to designing and producing a huge selection in simple, user-friendly and reliable models for the recreational sport market. But the technical diver has benefited too. The release of inexpensive dual-gas decompression computers has been particularly important to those trained as TDI Advanced Nitrox divers.

In these cases, dual-gas computers allow divers to take advantage of rich nitrox mixes (or pure oxygen) used during staged decompression stops. Carrying a second gas rich in oxygen is the universally accepted way to optimize off-gassing. The practice of running decompression on the same gas that was used on the bottom – once the norm among divers – has long fallen out of favor.

Luckily there is another “habit” common in the early days of technical diving that dual-gas PDCs have virtually eliminated. When the only computers available were single gas it was common for divers to leave their computers at 10 or 20 feet to “finish” the decompression while the owner surfaced. This, just for the record, is NOT a recommended practice!

The fact is that a single-gas computer is unable to take the optimized or shortened decompression time afforded by special gases into account and therefore does keep divers in the water longer than necessary.

Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with extending decompression times but following the ascent profile computed using back gas while actually breathing high-test nitrox or pure oxygen can cause problems.

The first and perhaps most obvious is that breathing partial pressures of oxygen during ascent increases central nervous system (CNS) oxygen toxicity loading. As any Advanced Nitrox trained diver knows, CNS toxicity must be accounted for and levels kept within acceptable norms… Technical Diving International™ recommends that divers keep CNS levels at no more than 80 percent of the allowable single dive time for ALL stages of the dive. This includes CNS loading netted during bottom time as well as during ascent and decompression.

It is possible to work these figures manually using NOAA oxygen exposure tables or with dive-planning software or a PDC in simulation mode during the dive planning steps. However, the process is much more accurate if these “estimates” are backed up and confirmed during the dive in real time via a multi-gas PDC.

A second argument against using a single-gas computer to run a staged decompression ascent where the diver is breathing decompression gas (a 50 percent nitrox for example) is that the computer would stop the ascent at sub-optimal depths for sub-optimal duration. A dive planned with plenty of conservatism might allow 9 out of 10 divers to get away with this, but when planning decompression dives, it is always best to weigh the odds in ones favor as much as practical.

Frankly a multi-gas computer is good insurance and a strong back-up for correct training and experience.

Many of the models on the market today use modern decompression algorithms to calculate ascent schedules and include deep stops or micro-bubble stops in those calculations. The efficacy of these stops coupled with the use of decompression gas, adds an element of security for divers planning technical dives. The risks remain, but their identification and mitigation is better managed with the use of modern dive computers. I would not dive without one… or two.


Sean Harrison is V-P Training for Scuba Diving International™ Technical Diving International™ and Emergency Response Diving International™


Diving North America

Great Lakes Diving equals great wreck diving

picture by Warren LoIt’s been estimated that there are more than 10,000 shipwrecks carpeting the bottom of the Great Lakes, and this region offers some of the most exciting wreck diving in the world. The lakes form a huge chain between Canada and the USA with only Lake Michigan completely inside the States, and we connected with three of our SDI TDI training facilities in one corner of the region to get some suggestions of what to dive and what to expect.

Dan Johnson operates Loves Park Scuba, out of Loves Park, Illinois, and runs a charter service off the western shore of nearby Lake Michigan in the Milwaukee / Racine area.

Captain Dan says “our local dives are wonderful, no need to head south at all!”

Dan has been diving these waters since the 1970s and discovered the Kate Kelly (a two masted schooner) and Lumberman (a three masted schooner). These two are his favorite sport-level dives and two of several wrecks he takes his customers to in his custom six-pack dive boat.

Other options for wreck divers visiting Dan include Dredge 906, The Norland, The Prins Willem V, The Wisconsin and the Car Ferry Milwaukee. Depth ranges from 50 feet to 130 so advanced certs are required for most of the really top-level dives. Water temperatures at depth are in the low forties or high thirties with a strong thermocline in summer at safety stop depth where temperatures ‘soar’ to the mid-sixties. The local season runs through the fall, according to Dan.

One sidebar to the diving opportunities at Loves Park Scuba is their 1500 square foot dive museum which features vintage gear and restored artifacts from many Great Lakes wrecks.


Although Keith Cormican at Wazee Sports Center does not run his own boat, he does organize several stellar cold-water wreck dive trips out of his shop in Black River Falls, Wisconsin each year. This season’s line-up includes a multi-dive trip to the Straits of Mackinac. This streach of water between Lakes Huron and Michigan boast some fantastic wreck sites. These include the Eber Ward, Cedarville and Sandusky, three of the most popular advanced dives in the area. But if those wrecks don’t appeal, there are plenty more. The Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve has 20 discovered shipwrecks and within the Straits area there are about 20 others. It’s also thought that there are at least three dozen more waiting to be discovered. “And that’s happening on a regular basis,” says Keith Cormican.

Wazee also caters to the technical divers looking for quality coldwater diving. This year Keith is taking a group to Isle Royale, which is about as far west as you can go and still be in the Great Lakes. Trips to dive the wrecks off Isle Royale are always in high demand and this year’s is full, “but contact me for next year!” Keith joked. Wrecks in that area include the Kamloops (a 250 foot long canaler sitting in more than 200 feet of water), the America (at sport depths) and the Emperor (a bulk freighter about 175 feet deep), which Keith says is his favorite.

At Adventures in Diving, owner Peggy Kurpinski makes the boldest claim of all. “We have so many wrecks within easy reach that you could spend a two-week vacation diving with us and never see the same wreck twice!”

Peggy, who’s dive operation is located near Holland, Michigan, points out that there are 12 underwater preserves in the Great Lakes Basin, some with perfectly preserved wrecks at depths to 300 feet, but adds that there are a lot of dives suitable for advanced sport divers.

“We have several shallower wrecks that are interesting dives just off shore in the Southwest Michigan Underwater Preserve,” she says. “One really unusual dive though, and one I’d recommend for the simple visual impact is in the preserve but it’s not a wreck.” The dive she says is called the Clay Banks and is a deposit of fine, pottery quality clay. “Sounds odd promoting a “mud dive” in an reas with some many wonderful wrecks,” she says. “But it is like swimming through the Grand Canyon and it’s shallow enough for just about any level of diver!”

There are literally scores of dive operators running Scuba Diving International™ and Technical Diving International™ courses and fun dives in the Great Lakes Basin from Brockville in the Thousand Islands bordering New York and the Canadian Province of Ontario west to Duluth, Minnesota. Visit to find one for you.


So how bad are the waves today…

Dial-A-Buoy adds a neat twist to a terrific resource

There is a wealth of web-based information to help plan our next dive trip but none is more useful or used by as many divers as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Data Buoy Center (NDBC).

This branch of the National Weather Service designs, develops, operates, and maintains a network of data collecting buoys and coastal observation stations around America’s coasts and across the Great Lakes. Buoy reports include wind direction, speed, gust, significant wave height, swell and wind-wave heights and periods, air temperature, water temperature, and sea level pressure.

Some buoys report wave directions. Coastal weather stations report the winds, air temperature, and pressure; some also report wave information, water temperature, visibility, and dew point.

The service is simple to use and navigating around the site can be distracting… there is so much to look at and learn.

Since we are featuring dives in the Great Lakes in this issue of Dive Log, here is the NOAA network of weather buoys in that area of the country.

What is Dial-A-Buoy?

The data on line from the NOAA buoys includes wave height and water temperature, two items of news most divers love to have when planning their next adventure. But NOAA has added a nice twist to the information age by updating its Dial-A-Buoy service.

Dial-A-Buoy is an easy way to find up-to-date weather reports when you are away from a computer and the Internet. It delivers wind and wave measurements taken within the last hour at buoy and coastal weather stations operated by the National Data Buoy Center via a cell phone call. The original Dial-A-Buoy service was opened in 1997. Last year, NDBC and the National Ocean Service’s Center for Operational Ocean Products and Services (NOS/CO-OPS) jointly implemented a replacement for the original system which had operated well beyond its expected life cycle.

Many divers and charter captains use the observations, in combination with forecasts, to make decisions on whether it is safe to venture out. There are reports that it has saved lives but one thing for sure, it has saved many wasted trips to the coast when conditions are just too brutal for diving. Find out more by exploring here…